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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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Greetings from Rep. Dave Baker

Friday, January 16, 2015
Dear Neighbors,
 
To those of you who may not know me, my name is Dave Baker. Last week I took the oath of office, and was sworn-in as the State Representative for District 17B, which includes most of Kandiyohi County, including the city of Willmar.
 
You may be receiving this email because you had previously signed up for updates from former Rep. Bruce Vogel, who represented our area from 2011-2013, or you were on a list of my personal contacts from the past few years.
 
I hope you'll give me the opportunity to keep you up-to-date with occasional email updates from the legislature.
 
I'm committed to working hard on your behalf over the next two years, and doing what I can to improve the lives of families in our district and across Minnesota.
 
That said, If you're not interested in receiving updates, the link to unsubscribe is at the bottom of this email.
 
Last Tuesday, January 6, All 134 legislators took the oath of office administered by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, and we formally elected Kurt Daudt from Crown, Minnesota as the Speaker of the House. On Thursday the 8th, we held a brief session to introduce the first bills of 2015.

You can find a full list of bills that have been introduced so far and their summaries by clicking here.
 

So far I have signed on as a co-author of House Files 1 and 3 which aim to grow better-paying jobs and protect aging adults’ quality of life. I will have more to share on these bills and many others as session continues.

 
This session, I will be serving on three committees:
  • I will serve as the Vice Chair of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance and Policy Committee, which will explore ways to grow better-paying jobs and keep energy costs affordable for families.
  • Aging and Long-Term Care Policy, which will look to improve quality and availability of care for our seniors.
  • Health and Human Services Reform, a Policy Committee where we will look at ways to reduce health care costs and make health care more accessible and affordable for families.
This Week
With committee meetings in full swing, the pace has picked up considerably this week. On Thursday, the House passed House File 6 with bipartisan support on a 129-0 vote.
 
House File 6 is a bill to conform Minnesota's tax code to the federal tax code. Once signed into law, this bill would allow thousands of Minnesotans to take advantage of $20 million in tax deductions for things like college tuition, out-of-pocket expenses for teachers, and mortgage insurance premiums.
 
It was important for us to pass this quickly to ensure that these credits were available as people start to file their taxes starting next week. I am hoping the Senate moves quickly and we're able to send a bill to the Governor for his signature sometime next week.
 
I want you to know that my door is always open, and I welcome your input, feedback, and questions as session continues.
 
I'm here to be your voice at the Capitol, and your emails and phone calls help guide my work as a legislator, and help me know what issues are important in our community.
 
I have been meeting with as many constituents, community leaders, and local officials as possible since November, and have set up "working groups" to help keep me informed about how policies passed in Saint Paul are impacting our area, and what changes need to be made.
 
You can contact my office at any time by sending me an email to rep.dave.baker@house.mn or by calling 651-296-6206.
 
Please also consider "liking" my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/repdavebaker and following me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DaveBakerMN. If you have friends or family members that may be interested in signing up for my email updates, please direct them to my house website www.house.mn/17B, and follow the link to sign up.
 
Upcoming Local Events
Spicer Winterfest is kicking off this weekend and will continue through February. For a full list of events, please visit www.spicermn.com and click on the Winterfest 2015 photo. There's quite a few fun events that the whole family can enjoy.
 
On January 31st starting at 1PM the Willmar/Spicer Polar Plunge will be taking place on Green Lake in Spicer.
 
Participants (myself included!) will be jumping into the chilly water near Salisbury Beach located at 151 Lake Avenue in Spicer in support of Special Olympics Minnesota.
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Dave Baker
State Representative, District 17B
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